Millbrook Marsh Nature Center is a wonderful place to observe wetland flora and fauna. Visit this page periodically to check out the interesting seasonal sightings of this spectacular place. See something interesting during your hike? Please share it with us!
Wood turtle populations are under high conservation concerns due to human interference of natural habitats. Habitat destruction and fragmentation can negatively impact the ability for wood turtles to search for suitable mates and build high quality nests. Wood turtles spend a great deal of time in or near the water of wide rivers, preferring shallow, clear streams with compacted and sandy bottoms. The wood turtle can also be found in forests and grasslands, but will rarely be seen more than several hundred meters from flowing water.
The wood turtle is omnivorous and is capable of eating on land or in water. On an average day, a wood turtle will move 354 ft., a decidedly long distance for a turtle. Many other animals that live in its habitat pose a threat to it. Raccoons are over-abundant in many places and can be a direct threat to all life stages of this species. Inadvertently, humans cause a large number of deaths through habitat destruction, road traffic, farming accidents, and illegal collection. When unharmed, it can live for up to 40 years in the wild and 58 years in captivity.
One of Pennsylvania’s most efficient predators, mink (Mustela vison) are semi-aquatic members of the weasel family (Mustelidae). Mice, voles and muskrats rank as most important foods of mink during all seasons. Other prey include rabbits, shrews, fish, frogs, crayfish, insects, snakes, waterfowl and other birds, eggs, domestic poultry, earthworms and snails. Mink are best suited for areas that hold the greatest concentrations and varieties of prey.
Mink are extremely sensitive to environmental pollutants. At the top of the food chain in aquatic environments, they accumulate many chemical compounds and heavy metals in their tissue including polychlorinated biphenyls and mercury. Mink are often used as bioindicators of pollution in aquatic systems.